Now that we are entering the coldest season, a little bit of spice on our food is a hint (or more) of welcome warmth. Personally, even when it is hot outside, I enjoy lots and lots of spice on my food! I have always been into great condiments, and I am known to have my own mustard shelf in my fridge with over a dozen varieties of mustard. Spice comes from so many different sources, and like with anything, I like trying new kinds made with new ingredients, peppers and vinegars that are made by different methods. When in Jamaica, I was blown away by the super spicy scotch bonnet based hot sauce called Blow Fyah by Stush in the Bush. When in California, I tried a date based hot sauce. When in Israel, I smothered my food, even breakfast, in so many different spicy sauces that are traditional there. Whether you are looking for a way to get more body heat or get a little kick in your food, my list below features products that are all available right here in Toronto, most made in small batches by local makers and creators. I hope you try them, and please let me know which are your favourite!
In no particular order:
- Alchemy Fermented Hot Sauce – You can get this at the Brickworks Farmers’ Market or Wychwood Market on Saturdays year-round – they are only there every other week, so check in advance! Don’t fall for the little bottle, go for the big one! If you like spicy kimchi, theirs is known to be excellent (I only like traditional kraut topped with hot sauce)!
- Vicki’s Veggies Pepperoncino – Get this before it sells out (also at Brickworks Market) – be careful, a little dose of these oily, delicious peppers is HOT! They have other peppers and hot sauces that are great, but the Pepperoncino is the BEST.
- Simply Natural Tomatillo Sriracha – My favourite of the two srirachas (see #4) – this hot sauce is green and has a slightly sweeter taste than the red (I go through about a bottle per week, especially if we have hummus bar!)
- Simply Natural Original Sriracha – The red version of the aforementioned sriracha – the classic hot sauce, also awesmazing!
- Marvellous Edibles Pepper Pickles – No sugar added! These spicy peppers are grown by the same farmers who pickle them. Also available at Brickworks market – we use the leftover brine as an ingredient in my mom’s un-cheese sauce!
- Organic Harvest Jalapeno Hot Sauce – An old favourite of my sister’s, this goes great drizzled on hot creamy cauliflower soup!
- Kozlik’s Horseradish Mustard – Available at many stores around the city, as well as the St. Lawrence and Brickworks markets, this mustard is sure to clear your sinuses any day!
- 4 Life Natural Foods Habanero Hot Sauce – Made in Kensington Market right here in Toronto, this hot sauce packs a real punch! Don’t drench your food in this!
- Naledo Truly Turmeric Paste – I love spreading this on toast with avocado – it’s REALLY good!!!
- Cha’s Organic Chili Peppers – These crushed chilies packaged by a Canadian company and certified by Canada Organic are great to sprinkle on any dish – adds a great kick!